X-rays often raise a lot of questions for our patients. Why do I need them? What do they show us? How often should they be taken? Are they safe for me? Your dentist in Odessa takes the time to explain the ins and outs of x-rays and why they are important for your oral health.
Do I Really Need X-Rays? If so, Why?
Your dentist uses many tools to help them monitor your oral health and diagnose certain conditions. X-rays are actually an important tool that helps your dentist see what is going on internally. There are different x-rays required for various situations, but these images give them the ability to assess your jaw joint, jawbone health, roots and teeth. They can also help detect many conditions that can’t be seen with the naked eye such as cysts, infections, and tumors.
Some of the x-rays we may recommend are:
- Panoramic x-rays: With this image we can see your entire mouth in one picture. It includes views of the jawbone, teeth, sinuses, nasal area, and temporomandibular (jaw) joints, or TMJ. It’s typically recommended every 5 years or so when it acts as a baseline for your oral health. It also may be recommended if you are planning implant placement surgery or orthodontic treatment.
- Bitewing x-rays: These images are typically recommended once a year and are used to diagnose decay between teeth, bone loss, and gum disease. They show your back teeth with one view, both upper and lower areas.
- Occlusal x-rays: This type of x-ray shows the roof or floor of the mouth and is used to find foreign objects, diagnose clefts, or see what is happening with teeth that haven’t broken through yet.
- Periapical x-rays: This image focuses on a complete view of a single tooth, showing the crown, root, and bone surrounding it. This x-ray is typically recommended if you are experiencing dental pain or specific issue with a tooth, and it is used to diagnose tumors, abscesses, impacted teeth, and cysts.
Are X-Rays Safe?
Your dentist in Odessa uses digital x-rays. These are much safer for patients than traditional x-rays because they emit 80% less radiation. You are likely to receive more radiation from a day spent out in the sun than you will from dental x-rays.
Digital x-rays are also safer for our environment since they don’t require the use of harsh chemicals for developing.
When it is time for your next x-ray, you can rest assured that it is safe and beneficial for your oral health. Please contact your dentist if you have any other questions about x-rays and how they can benefit you.
About the Author
For over 40 years, Dr. Franklin Boyles has been providing residents of Odessa, TX with exceptional dental care. Now his son Dr. Stephen Boyles works along side him to ensure that the incredible level of dental care that patients enjoy carries on far into the future.
If you would like to contact Boyles General Dentistry, we can be reached by calling 432-366-0896 or through our website online.